This meeting from a silent retreat opens with Gangaji's invitation: "What have you realized so far?" There is a common theme to the participants who come up: their humanity. From the grist of relationship, to the possibility of annihilation by love; from the passion for awakening, to the fear of being alone, Gangaji welcomes each report, each unique and beautiful human story, with the same grace and contagious joy. The meeting ends with a song from Amber Terrell.
A selection of clips from Gangaji's May 2022 Silent Retreat at Fallen Leaf Lake in the Sierra Mountains. These monologues and dialogues with Gangaji are from the first half of the retreat. Part II will follow.
From Gangaji's 2022 Silent Retreat at Fallen Leaf Lake. This discovery of what has always been here has no boundary. It has never left. It has never not been who you are, whatever circumstances you throw at it. "It" is always here.
In these clips Gangaji explores one of the most common "diseases" of our human minds: unnecessary suffering. While there may be great pain, whether physical, mental or emotional, associated with being a human in a body, it is our identification with ourselves as body, mind, or emotions, that causes us to suffer. With humor and great clarity, Gangaji points out that pain doesn't end, but suffering is unnecessary. When you know where home is, you have a resting place. In an instant you are home, regardless of circumstances.
Included in the playlist is a series of inquiry questions recorded in May 2022 where Gangaji challenges us to examine our assumptions around pain and suffering.
Failing to be who we think we should be, or that we somehow lack the maturity for true self-realization, can give rise to deep feelings of unworthiness. Yet as Gangaji points to throughout this video, the proof of real spiritual maturity is in the complete willingness to fail, to lose every pretense of control, and surrender the mind to what cannot be known.
“I am asking you to bring up all the images you have of yourself of being unworthy, unholy, undeserving, immature, not ready. Everything you think somehow separates you from the truth of who you are. I am asking you to open that door.”
Sometimes the feeling of unworthiness is masking the fear that if we are truly who we are, we will be too great. And if we are too great, that will be dangerous. Ultimately Gangaji is inviting us to not postpone realization for anything, whether it's the fear of being too great, too small, not enough, or any of a host of other ways we avoid the truth of ourselves.
From Gangaji's April 2022 Online Meeting. Gangaji speaks about the wonder of life—its hugeness and uncontainability—and the shock and disillusionment we experience when we are confronted with how human beings have used their power to bring war to all aspects of the planet. From a very simple and profound need to live, to survive, as a species it seems we can't get enough. The possibility is to stop the narrative, the acquisition, both material and spiritual, and retreat—not from life, but into life.
For most people who have been graced with a pristine experience of Reality, the goal immediately becomes the recreation of that experience. In this video Gangaji points to a central disillusion that eventually must occur, and a ruthless truth-telling: “No matter how much I work to make that experience permanent, I still find myself basically back where I have always been—seeking happiness.”
“If there is still some hope that you can make this pristine clarity of truth permanent, then there is still some belief you are separate from truth. That moment of truth has become a 'thing' that you hope you can recapture, create, or keep. This is the spiritual illusion. To see clearly what all is, you first have to see who you are."
“All of your life you have wanted to be who you are. That is what authentic means, isn’t it?”
Recognizing you are just “faking it” is a moment of discriminating wisdom that reveals an essential choice point. Will you keep faking it? When the desire for the truth of who you are overwhelms every other human desire, the choice becomes clear. In this exchange, Gangaji takes us on a deep dive into the desire for authenticity and the habit of postponement.
In this playlist of clips that span many years, Gangaji addresses one of the most subtle and yet prevalent obstacles to true freedom, self-doubt, described by Ramana as "the last obstacle." Gangaji asks us to consider, "What blocks your fulfillment?" And the playlist ends with a glorious celebration of doubtless freedom.
We have the experience of getting somewhere, getting very close, losing ground, climbing up, falling down...over, and over, and over. Still the elusive permanence is just out of sight. Then in a moment of radical truth-telling, there is a possibility of disillusionment with what one has done to reclaim this moment of opening...or this Truth. It is in the disillusionment that the opening in the mind for satsang appears. Where there is a willingness to simply say “I don’t know.”
If you are expecting everything to be perfect after you have experienced the truth of yourself, or if you are experiencing "it" to be anything in particular, that can be a form of self-doubt. It is in standing alone that you truly find a depth of support, the self-confirmation and capacity to just be yourself.
Gangaji opens this recent online public meeting with a prayer for peace. She speaks of her own realization of peace and freedom, and invites us to stop all movement away from the inherent peace and stillness that is here. You can find the audio download of the full meeting in our online bookstore, or watch it in Gangaji's video library.
Gangaji speaks of the wholeness that includes all time and space. She refers to the work of quantum physicist David Bohm, and celebrates where science and spirituality meet, in recognizing the incomprehensible totality of being. Our minds are conditioned to fragment reality so that we can survive, but totality includes it all.
Our human brains are wired to exclude. That is a great power in many contexts, but the vastness of inclusion is overlooked. It is in the absolute inclusion of everything, that the unspeakable revelation of truth is recognized as who one is.